Aug 22, 2001

Drug therapy approaches in the treatment of acute severe asthma in hospitalised children

Paediatric Drugs
L K DeNicolaK V Blake


Acute severe paediatric asthma remains a serious and debilitating disease throughout the world. The incidence and mortality from asthma continue to increase. Early, effective and aggressive outpatient therapy is essential in reducing symptoms and preventing life-threatening progression. When complications occur or when the disease progresses to incipient respiratory failure, these children need to be managed in a continuous care facility where aggressive and potentially dangerous interventions can be safely instituted to reverse persistent bronchospasm. The primary drugs for acute severe asthma include oxygen, corticosteroids, salbutamol (albuterol) and anticholinergics. Second-line drugs include heliox, magnesium sulfate, ketamine and inhalational anaesthetics. Future therapies may include furosemide, leukotriene modifiers, antihistamines and phosphodiesterase inhibitors. This review attempts to explore the multitude of medications available with emphasis on pharmacology and pathophysiology.

Mentioned in this Paper

Anticholinergic mydriatics and cycloplegics
Phosphodiesterase Inhibitors
Anticholinergics inhalants for obstructive airway diseases
Bronchial Spasm
Corticosteroids, topical for treatment of hemorrhoids and anal fissures
Pediatric Discipline
Respiratory Failure
Magnesium Sulfate
Adrenal Cortex Hormones

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